# A 3-2-1 Formative Assessment on Ratios With a Side of Surprise

A few years ago, I started trying out some new formative assessment techniques.    It has been a journey full of surprises.   I’ve learned a lot about what my students think along the way.    One of the big surprises was during a unit introducing ratios.   I gave my students this  exit ticket.

When I made it, I was just trying out the structure and thought it was a little bit of fluff.    Then, I saw the results.   I gave the assessment about a week into a unit introducing ratio reasoning to my sixth grade class.   We had completed lessons on tape diagrams, ratio tables, and double number lines.   I expected students to just plop those three representations into the exit ticket without much thought.   Instead, I got 3:2, 3 to 2, and 3/2.

I’ve given a lot of thought to why I got these responses.   Did the students just key in on the “3” part of the question and not really read the prompt carefully?   Did I fail to draw out  the connections between tape diagrams, ratio tables, and double number lines enough?   I don’t know why I got the responses that I did, but pondering the question of why was important.   I started working harder at drawing out the connections between the different representations the next year and the next.

I gave this assessment a few days ago.   As I walked around the room, I marked each response with either a green or a pink highlighter.   Most of the responses were correct.  Those students who got a pink mark, went back through their interactive notebook to find their mistakes and correct them.

I still wonder why some of my students are making this mistake, but feel a little closer to the answer.